Silent Films

"Our invention can be exploited for a certain time as a scientific curiosity, but apart from that, it has no commercial future whatsoever." - Auguste Lumiere, early film maker who, with his brother Louis, organized the first public performance of motion pictures in December 1895. A silent film is a film which has no accompanying soundtrack. The idea of combining motion pictures with recorded sound is nearly as old as the motion picture itself, but before the late 1920s, most films were silent. The years before sound came to the movies are known as the "silent era" among film scholars and historians. The art of motion pictures grew into full maturity before silent films were replaced by "talking pictures" or "talkies", and a number of film buffs believe the quality of the cinema actually decreased for a few years, before the new medium of sound was adapted to the movies. The glorious early days of cinema are represented here in this collection with many titles still acknowledged as classics of the cinema to this day. "Slapstick Comedy" found as a subhead of "Comedy" may also be worth a browse... Right: Scene from Fritz Lang's 1927 "Metropolis"

Blancanieves (2012)

Director: Pablo Berger
Starring: Angela Molina, Daniel Gimenez Cacho, Maribel Verdu, Pere Ponce, Jose Maria Pou,...

Once upon a time there was a girl named Carmen, who never knew her mother. She learned the art of her father, a famous bullfighter, but was hated by h... Read more

The Artist (Blu-ray) (2011)

Director: Michel Hazanavicius
Starring: James Cromwell, John Goodman, Penelope Ann Miller, Berenice Bejo, Jean Dujardin

Five Academy Awards--including Best Picture, Director, and Actor--went to this magical, mostly silent seriocomedy set in 1927 Hollywood. As screen ido... Read more

Lotte Reiniger - The Fairy Tale Films (2009)

Director: Lotte Reiniger

Lotte Reiniger has the distinction of creating the very first feature animation, her enthralling The Adventures of Prince Achmed (1926), an epic silho... Read more

Avant-Garde: Experimental Cinema of the 1920s and 30s (2005)


Culled from the collection of noted movie archivist Raymond Rohauer, this two-disc set features more than 20 artistically diverse experimental short f... Read more

Edison: The Invention of the Movies (2005)


Truly an event to be celebrated by cinephiles, "Edison: The Invention of the Movies" is an unprecedented survey of one of cinema's most influential fi... Read more

Melies the Magician (1997)

Director: Jacques Meny

A documentary on pioneering French filmmaker Georges Melies along with fifteen of his rarely seen restored films from 1898-1905. Included are the leg... Read more

A Home Of Your Own (1964)

Starring: Ronnie Barker, Richard Briers, Peter Butterworth, Bernard Cribbins, Bill Fraser

This wordless, though noisy comedy is a satire on Britain's building industry and stars Ronnie Barker as the put-upon cement mixer, Peter Butterworth... Read more

The First Kings of Comedy Collection (1957)

Director: Robert Youngson
Starring: Ben Turpin, Buster Keaton, Carole Lombard, Charley Chase, Charlie Chaplin, Harry...

Famed documentarian Robert Youngson presents a pair of documentaries that celebrate the era of silent slapstick comedy. First, "The Golden Age of Come... Read more

The Ten Commandments (1956 and 1923 versions) (1956)

Director: Cecil B DeMille
Starring: Charlton Heston, Yul Brynner, Anne Baxter, Edward G Robinson, Yvonne De Carlo, D...

For sheer pageantry and spectacle, few motion pictures can claim to equal the splendor of Cecil B. DeMille's 1956 remake of his epic "The Ten Commandm... Read more

The Thief (aka Ladron) (1952)

Director: Russell Rouse
Starring: Ray Milland

A chance accident causes a nuclear physicist selling top secret material to the Russians to fall under FBI scrutiny and go on the run. This film is n... Read more